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  • Print publication year: 2010
  • Online publication date: October 2010
  • First published in: 1907

CHAPTER VII - IDEAL TYPES OF APOLLO

Summary

It was in working upon the form of Apollo that Greek art first reveals the tendency, which afterwards became dominant, to present the divine ideal in youthful aspect. A bearded Apollo appears to us an incongruous type; yet it is found on our earliest Apolline monument, the Melian amphora quoted above, and on the well-known Francois vase. And again on a fragment of a fifth-century vase found on the Acropolis of Athens, containing a representation of the outrage of Tityos on Leto and her deliverance by Apollo and Artemis, the god is undoubtedly bearded, and also—what is the most singular feature in the artist's conception of him—he is armed as a hoplite in cuirass and helm. We may see in this the caprice of the artist rather than the survival of a very early divine type such as that at Amyklai. Usually, in the earliest as well as in the later period, Apollo is represented in peaceful pose or peaceful action such as was consonant with the character of the god of music, and it appears that the aspect of him that was most familiar to the popular imagination was that of the kitharoedos, in which character he would generally appear fully or partly draped. But at some time in the sixth century the fashion began to prevail of depicting Apollo naked as well as beardless.